Portland and Ogdensburg Railway
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Willey Brook Bridge in the White Mountains
|Locale||west from Portland, Maine|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
The Portland & Ogdensburg Railroad was a railroad planned to connect Portland, Maine to Ogdensburg, New York. The plan failed, and in 1880 the Vermont section was reorganized and leased by the Boston & Lowell Railroad. In 1886, the Maine and New Hampshire section was reorganized as the Portland & Ogdensburg Railway. That part was leased to the Maine Central Railroad in 1888, and in 1912 the Maine Central leased the eastern part of the Vermont section from the Boston & Maine Railroad, the successor to the B&L.
The Portland & Ogdensburg Railroad was chartered on February 11, 1867 to run from Portland to Fabyan, a junction at Carroll, New Hampshire in the White Mountains, where the Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad would continue west. Their track joined in a ceremony at the summit of Crawford Notch on August 7, 1875, then opened on August 16, 1875.
In 1864, the Essex County Railroad was chartered to run from St. Johnsbury, Vermont, on the Connecticut & Passumpsic Rivers Railroad, east to Lunenburg on the border with New Hampshire. The Montpelier & St. Johnsbury Railroad was chartered in 1866 to run west from St. Johnsbury to Montpelier. The Lamoille Valley Railroad was chartered in 1867 to run from West Danville on the planned M&SJ northwest to Swanton. The three companies were consolidated on August 7, 1875 to form the Vermont Division of the Portland & Ogdensburg Railroad, and the construction that had started was continued, except that the part of the M&SJ west of West Danville was never built.
Construction on the Vermont Division began in 1871, and was complete in 1877. To connect between the two divisions, the company at first used trackage rights over the Boston, Concord and Montreal Railroad from Fabyan to Dalton, New Hampshire, but soon built its own alignment. West of Swanton, the P&O was allied with the Ogdensburgh & Lake Champlain Railroad, running west from Rouses Point, New York to Ogdensburg, and used the Vermont & Canada Railroad to access it.
Just after completion of the Vermont Division the company went bankrupt, was taken over by the receiver on October 19, 1877. The Vermont Division was reorganized as the St. Johnsbury & Lake Champlain Railroad on January 30, 1880. On August 9, 1882 the Montreal, Portland & Boston Railway leased it, but it was soon taken over by the Boston & Lowell Railroad.
The main division was reorganized on June 8, 1884 as the Portland & Ogdensburg Railway, and on August 20, 1888, the Maine Central Railroad leased it as their Mountain Division (some of which survives as the Conway Scenic Railroad, a heritage railroad). In July 1912, the Maine Central Railroad leased the old Vermont Division, but on August 1, 1927 the lease was terminated, and a new lease was made on only the part east of St. Johnsbury. The remainder of the Vermont Division operated as the St. Johnsbury & Lake Champlain Railroad until reorganized as the St. Johnsbury & Lamoille County Railroad in 1948.
|2nd #1||Presumpscot||4-4-0||1847||ex-Boston and Providence Railroad scrapped 1879|
|3rd #1||Presumpscot||Souther||4-4-0||1851||ex-Portland and Kennebec Railroad #6 Richmond then Maine Central Railroad purchased 1879 rebuilt to 0-4-0 scrapped 1885|
|2||Saco||Portland Company||4-4-0||1870||183||re-boilered after boiler explosion in 1874 became Maine Central Railroad #102 in 1888|
|3||Sebago||Portland Company||4-4-0||1870||182||originally 1st #1 became Maine Central Railroad #103 in 1888|
|4||Ossipee||Portland Company||4-4-0||1870||173||became Maine Central Railroad #104 in 1888|
|5||Fryeburg||Portland Company||4-4-0||1871||189||became Maine Central Railroad #105 in 1888|
|6||Pequawket||Portland Company||4-4-0||1873||246||became Maine Central Railroad #106 in 1888|
|7||Carrigain||Portland Company||4-4-0||1872||221||re-boilered in 1884 became Maine Central Railroad #107 in 1888|
|8||Crawford||Portland Company||4-4-0||1875||329||became Maine Central Railroad #108 in 1888|
|9||Frankenstein||Portland Company||2-6-0||1875||330||became Maine Central Railroad #109 in 1888|
|10||Resolution||Portland Company||2-6-0||1881||404||became Maine Central Railroad #110 in 1888|
|11||Webster||Portland Company||4-4-0||1882||452||became Maine Central Railroad #111 in 1888|
|12||Kearsarge||Hinkley Locomotive Works||4-4-0||1884||1574||became Maine Central Railroad #112 in 1888|
|13||Chocarua||Portland Company||2-6-0||1884||537||became Maine Central Railroad #113 in 1888|
|14||Avalon||Portland Company||2-6-0||1884||538||became Maine Central Railroad #114 in 1888|
|15||Willey||Portland Company||4-4-0||1884||529||became Maine Central Railroad #115 in 1888|
|16||Willard||Portland Company||4-4-0||1884||530||became Maine Central Railroad #116 in 1888|
Vermont Division locomotives
|1||St. Johnsbury||Portland Company||4-4-0||1871||190||became St. Johnsbury and Lake Champlain Railroad #1 in 1880|
|2||Lamoille||Portland Company||4-4-0||1871||196||became St. Johnsbury and Lake Champlain Railroad #2 in 1880|
|3||Swanton||Portland Company||4-4-0||1871||204||became St. Johnsbury and Lake Champlain Railroad #3 in 1880|
|4||Hyde Park||Portland Company||4-4-0||1871||202||became St. Johnsbury and Lake Champlain Railroad #4 in 1880 then sold to Wild River Railroad about 1891|
|5||Essex||Portland Company||4-4-0||1871||207||became St. Johnsbury and Lake Champlain Railroad #5 in 1880|
|6||Maquam||Mason Machine Works||4-4-0||1872||593||became St. Johnsbury and Lake Champlain Railroad #6 in 1880|
|7||Mansfield||Mason Machine Works||4-4-0||1872||595||became St. Johnsbury and Lake Champlain Railroad #7 in 1880|
- Bruce D. Heald, A History of the Boston & Maine Railroad: Exploring New Hampshire's Rugged Heart by Rail; The History Press; Charleston, South Carlolina 2007